With gasoline prices hovering at around two bucks a gallon, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) suggests now might be the time to raise the gas tax. Obama’s former “Car Czar” agrees. Outside of Washington, D.C., however, they’re not liable to find much support.
Corker, along with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), co-sponsored a bill in the last Congress to “temporarily” rev up the gasoline tax by 12 cents a gallon over the next two years, a measure that received little interest at the time, according to The New York Times.
But that was then, when gas prices exceeded $4 a gallon. This is now.
“If something like this is going to be done, now is the time to do it,” Corker told the Times.
Steven Rattner, who headed President Barack Obama’s former Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, enthusiastically agreed. The Auto Task Force gave us the Chrysler and GM bailouts that Ford had the intelligence to decline.
— Steven Rattner (@SteveRattner) January 3, 2015
Remember Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s maxim, “Never let a crisis go to waste”? Just as he considers a crisis to be a time of opportunity, Corker and Rattner see a good time as the moment to strike.
That idea wasn’t lost by the folks on Twitter, as Twitchy reported. Here are a few examples:
— CapCube NYC (@CapCube) January 3, 2015
— Gentle Giant ™ (@Harry_Bergeron) January 3, 2015
Here’s another thing to consider. Gasoline is taxed by the gallon — not by the purchase price.
The high price of gasoline at the time was what prompted the failed tax hike measure. Motorists were compensating for the exorbitant prices by driving fewer miles. Therefore, the federal government saw less revenue.
Now that gasoline prices have plummeted, one can assume America’s former driving habits have returned, and with them, the tax revenue.